“I made the film for all the people who have no clue about Pina Bausch nor about dance and who are not dance aficionados; people who don’t know that this beauty exists.”
Some are surprised that Wim Wenders, like fellow veteran of the '70s New German Cinema Werner Herzog, has embraced something as newfangled as 3D. But he's always been fascinated by cutting-edge technology; 20 years ago he broached the possibility of a camera that photographs dreams in Until the End of the World (1991). Pina is a 3D portrait of his late friend Pina Bausch, the German choreographer and head of the Tanztheater Wuppertal. It's a unique, almost visionary experience, and it has won over new fans to modern dance and renewed interest in this great filmmaker. Watch for it when the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nominations come around. We spoke last September at the Toronto Film Festival.
>> REVIEW: Pina by Ann Lewinson <<
I WALKED BY ONE OF THE THEATERS YESTERDAY, AND THERE WERE HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE IN LINE, AND I ASKED SOMEBODY WHICH MOVIE IT WAS AND THEY SAID IT WASPINA. DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE A HIT ON YOUR HANDS? Maybe. I made the film for all the people who have no clue about Pina Bausch nor about dance, and who are not dance aficionados; people who don't know that this beauty exists.
WEREN'T YOU ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE BEFORE YOU SAW PINA BAUSCH PERFORM THE FIRST TIME? Exactly. I was one of those people with the attitude that it's not for me. Include me out.
SO WAS I UNTIL I SAW THIS FILM. AND I FELT THE SAME WAY ABOUT CUBAN MUSIC UNTIL I SAW YOURBUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB. DO YOU THINK THIS FILM ALSO WILL GET AN OSCAR NOMINATION? It is officially the German entry, which came as a big surprise to me because they don't normally nominate documentaries. It doesn't mean anything for the time being, though, because it still has to be nominated. And I hope it has a chance, because it is such an unusual documentary. But actually, it's almost not a documentary because choreography as such is fiction. And if you're filming fiction, what does that make it? Filmed fiction?
SPEAKING OF FICTION AND DOCUMENTARIES, HOW WOULD YOU COMPAREPINA TO WERNER HERZOG'SCAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS, ALSO IN 3D? It's very different. For me, 3D was the solution to 20 years of desiring to make it [a film about Pina Bausch] but not knowing how to possibly do it. And then we prepared for two years to shoot the film. We found the technology and then worked hard on correcting the flaws 3D had and still has. But Werner went spontaneously into his adventures and had very little time to prepare and actually to do it.
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE FLAWS? When we did our first tests we used our prototype equipment and we shot outdoors. It was a little bit like the Lumière Brothers taking the camera out of the factory and filming for the first time. I told my assistant to run around in front of the camera to see how it would look. It was a disaster. The technology did what we were hoping for in terms of depth and space, but in terms of movement it was a freaking disaster. My assistant in 3D had multiple arms and legs; he looked like a full-on Indian goddess.